The World Area Station’s two Russian astronauts started spacewalking paintings Wednesday to arrange for subsequent yr’s arrival of a long-delayed lab, however needed to scrap every other chore on account of a cussed bolt.
Spacewalkers Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov — dubbed Sergey 1 and Sergey 2 by way of flight controllers — left 4 American citizens and one Eastern inside of. The gap station inhabitants grew to seven overdue Monday with the coming of a SpaceX pill, making the corporate’s 2d astronaut flight.
Ryzhikov, the station’s commander, and Kud-Sverchkov spent just about two hours doing further leak exams prior to exiting Russia’s Poisk air lock. The 11-year-old compartment had by no means been used prior to by way of spacewalkers.
“Congratulations. You’re out!” Russian Project Keep an eye on advised the first-time spacewalkers after the long checking out.
The astronauts straight away encountered a hard bolt that avoided them from changing a fluid-flow regulator on Russia’s oldest compartment — Zarya, Russian for Daybreak. A NASA commentator mentioned the outdated regulator was once nonetheless running on Zarya — the 1st piece of the gap station released in 1998 _ and that the change could be deferred to a later spacewalk.
Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov had higher success relocating a cable, step one in decommissioning Russia’s outdated Pirs spacewalking compartment to make room for the brand new lab. Through then, the spacewalk was once previous the four-hour mark, and flight controllers close to Moscow suggested the 2 to leisure: “It’s been intense.”
The Pirs module can be got rid of and junked subsequent yr to make room for the analysis lab Nauka — Russian for “science.” A number of Russian-directed spacewalks can be required to care for all this. The plan requires attaching a shipment send to Pirs to be able to information it to a fiery reentry.
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The brand new 22-ton lab — stretching 13 metres lengthy — is so large that it is going to be released from Kazakhstan by way of an impressive Proton rocket. As soon as on the orbiting outpost, it is going to double as an air lock and docking port.
The science lab’s release — just about a decade overdue on account of a protracted string of maintenance — is concentrated for someday early subsequent yr.
Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov arrived with an American final month on a Soyuz pill. Just like the newly arrived SpaceX team, the Russian-launched astronauts will stay on board till spring.
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